Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak #2

A message for The Book Thief: 

I am currently left with a broken heart and a half empty box of tissues. Although I knew what was coming, I still had not fully prepared myself for the way this book ended. I guess a part of me was still holding on to a little bit of hope that someone would survive and be there for Liesel. Obviously, that was not the case. But despite this gut wrenching and depressing ending, I still absolutely loved this book.

I have always been interested in World War Two and the Holocaust and have had a love for historical fiction since I was little. I have read many books about the Holocaust and took several undergraduate courses relating to World War Two at Nazareth. What I loved about The Book Thief, however, was Zusak's ability to give a fresh approach to a story that has been told many times and in many ways. Often, when we think about German's and World War Two, we associate them with the Nazi's, concentration camps, and their unconditional love and commitment to the Fhuer. Zusak, however, offers the view of German's, who, although they were safe from the tragedies of the concentration camps, still faced their own challenges and fears. He reveals how many German's were poor, starving, and losing loved ones in the war. He also shows how some German's resisted Hitler by refusing to join the Nazi party or to hang the German flags in their window. I also enjoyed how Zusak offered a different perspective of the Hitler Youth. From my own experiences, I learned about the Hitler Youth as being made up of "brainwashed" kids who did not know what they were really getting involved in. The Book Thief, however, revealed how kids did not enjoy being a part of the Hitler Youth and often complained about it. I think that it is so important that this book includes multiple perspectives and views because when you learn and think about the past, it is important to consider the voices and experiences of everyone involved. Zusak does a great job at doing this. 


  1. A great work of non-fiction to pair with The Book Thief is the book I have listed as an option in our Biographies session: Why Do They Hate Me: Young Lives Caught In Conflict. This book is a collection of letters and diaries written by young children -- mostly teens. I think you would find it quite interesting as well. One of the narratives in the WWII section is written by an American girl who is trapped with her family in the Warsaw Ghetto as they were visiting relatives in Poland when Germany invaded. She tells of the special treatment they received because they were Americans.

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  4. Dr. J,

    This book sounds very interesting! After we talked about it in class a few weeks ago, I put it on my list of books to buy. I think it is one I will definitely enjoy. Thanks for sharing!!